West Indies draws level, wins by 10 wickets

Published: Monday, May 6, 2002, 4:39 [IST]
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West Indies scripted a 10-wicket victory on Sunday at Barbados, Kensington Oval after India just about managed to avoid an innings defeat. Needing five runs to level the series, West Indies managed go through with the proceeding without much ado.

Indians did salvage some pride but overall it was a disappointing performance. Any hopes that India nurtured of a recovery was put to rest, when Laxman (43) departed early - caught at second slip off Pedro Collins. Laxman played a few typical Laxman-shots fetching him three boundaries before being undone by Pedro Collins, who troubled him to a great degree on Saturday (India 183 for 5). Ratra, then, stuck around for a while but once the new ball was taken that was the end of it. Dillon struck in his very first over with the new ball trapping him lbw for 13 (India 208 for six). When we don't expect much of our regular openers, I suppose it is asking the world of the tail-enders to counter the new ball. Harbhajan didn't last long - he didn't look like - as he soon was bowled off Cuffy for 3 (India 211 for seven). But making away with all calculations, Zaheer Khan then, threw caution to the wind. He probably decided there is no point in me prodding out here and eventually getting out. So he opened his broad shoulders and carted the bowlers with a great degree of success. He smacked two huge sixes and struck four boundaries (albeit cheeky) to register his highest score of 46. One the other hand Ganguly was playing sensibly, taking whatever was on offer to take himself to a well-deserved fifty. Ganguly (60 not out), like I said on his previous innings, played exemplary cricket. What is most heartening is his footwork and judgment. He definitely looks a much less arrogant batsman, prepared to wait and not wanting to dictate terms. However, in an anticlimax to the run feast that was on offer, wickets tumbled, in a rather unexpected way. Hooper brought on Ramnaresh Sarwan last over before lunch, who bowled a rank long-hop but to Zaheer's ill luck his wild swing only resulted in a snick to the keeper - ending a fruitful 74-run partnership. Lunch was taken at the fall of Zaheer's wicket and first ball after lunch Sarwan dismissed Srinath leaving India seven runs short of wiping away the deficit. Soon the Indian innings drew to a close when Nehra trying to go the Zaheer- way holed out to long-on where a juggling Collins held on to the catch, much to the delight of the crowd (India 296 all out). The rest was formality. Man-of-the-match: Mervyn Dillon

Scorecard of Day 4

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